That sound you hear is the collective orgasm of Right Wing self-righteousness now that abortion is illegal in Alabama, and more states are poised to fall like dominoes to propel women back to the days of back alleys and coat hangers.
Would it be horrid of me to wish an incestuous unplanned pregnancy on the 12-year-old of every Radical Religious Right Winger who is declaring this a victory for Pro-Lifers? Well, probably. Maybe karma has less of a conscience than me.
You go, karma!
Although women absolutely have the right to control their own bodies, the Pro-Lifers have one valid point: Once a fetus is viable outside the womb, having an abortion is unacceptable unless the mother’s life is at risk. “I was here first” is still the checkmate move. That said, most women suspect they’re pregnant after one missed period. Maybe two. If you’ve missed three, and it’s unplanned, and you haven’t started the process of doing something about it, well, my sympathies swing to the unborn child. If it can survive outside the womb, it’s a baby and not a fetus. Unless you’re 12, and were impregnated upon your first sexual experience before you ever even had a period. Now we’re talking about something else entirely. It would be child abuse to force a 12-year-old to give birth. This is why we can’t have black and white laws. We need to have the room to consider each situation independently.
I’ll give this one to the Pro-Lifers: Late term abortion is murder. It’s heinous. Crushing the skull of a fully formed, viable fetus and vacuuming its brains out is unfathomably cruel and gruesome. We wouldn’t do that to a dog. At some point in gestation, a fetus’ right to exist supercedes the woman’s right to choose. If you’re in your third trimester, you need to let nature finish its job. Sorry, you don’t get to go merrily along for seven months and then play the “oops” card. Unless you’re 12. And then, we’re really in a bind. It’ll take a lot of hand-wringing to work this one out.
Abortion isn’t a black and white issue, but Pro-Lifers and Pro-Choicers refuse to see it as anything but. Neither side is capable of rational, intelligent discussion about abortion, only ranting and raving, waving picket signs and shouting each other down. They cancel each other out, like a positive and a negative, and add up to zero.
Pro-Choicers’ have zero empathy for the fetus. It’s not just a lump of flesh, people. I know. I’ve had two of them inside me. It kicks, it rolls, it hiccups, it sucks its thumb. It’s alive. Trust me, the first time that “lump” drop-kicks your spleen, you know it’s got a mind of its own. And, more importantly, a life. Once a fetus becomes viable, removing it from the womb isn’t “abortion,” it’s “murder.” Pro-Choicers must concede to respect life before the umbilical cord is cut, or they have no credibility.
Before you Pro-Lifers get all “Amen, sister!” on me, temper your enthusiasm. The “Pro-Life” label is a misnomer. There’s nothing remotely “pro life” about your position. Mom’s single, unemployed, and can’t feed another mouth? She should’ve thought about that before she uncrossed her legs! Mom’s only 14? Well, the little slut was old enough to have sex, wasn’t she! Her 40-year-old uncle fathered the child while raping her? Tough. But, hey Mom, Jesus loves you! Good luck in the Food Stamp line! God bless!
Life doesn’t end at birth. A single mother can’t feed a child on “Jesus loves you.” The pregnant woman’s body and life will be drastically changed forever. The father, however, can simply walk away, and live to impregnate another day. Where’s the Pro-Lifers’ obsession and angst about THAT? Until the Pro-Lifers respect life after the umbilical cord is cut, help pay to support all those unwanted children for 18 years apiece, and hold fathers equally accountable, they also have no credibility.
SO, both sides have credibility issues, as well as empathy issues. How about all of y’all shut up for three minutes and let all five of us who are left have a crack at a sane discussion about abortion.
First, viability and semantics. Currently, 22 weeks is a make-it-or-break stage of gestation. Prior to that, survival outside the womb is unlikely. To be safe, let’s round down to 20 weeks. That’s five months — more than enough time to decide to end a pregnancy. After five months, the fetus is viable. Now it’s a baby, and killing it is murder. At that point, the right to exist outweighs the right to choose. But if that pregnancy threatens the mother’s life, and a caesarian is impossible, the mother’s life comes first. Possession is nine-tenths of the law, particularly when it’s your own body.
This is where the Pro-Lifers fall flat on their self-righteous faces. They’re against abortion. But they’re just as avidly against birth control. You want to end abortion? End unplanned pregnancy. Abortion isn’t the issue. It’s the symptom of the real problem: unplanned pregnancy. Stop the unplanned pregnancy, and you stop the abortions. Can I get an “Amen, Sister,” Pro-Lifers? Or does your desire to also end premarital sex weigh more than your desire to end abortion? Because if you even have to hesitate to answer that question, do not embarrass yourself one moment further by mouthing a word against abortion.
Before all the Pro-Choicers get all “You go, girl!” on me, may I point out that with choice comes responsibility. Abortion isn’t birth control. Birth control prevents pregnancy. Abortion doesn’t. Pro-Choice should also mean: Choose to take birth control pills until you want a baby. Period.
And what if, despite employing every means possible, sperm still meets egg? There are home pregnancy tests that detect pregnancy within one week of conception. One week! And if you can’t afford one, go to Planned Parenthood. And if you decide to terminate the pregnancy, do it now. To wait for months is irresponsible. And, at some point, yes, it is murder.
And, while we’re busy laying the entire burden of unplanned pregnancy on women, what about the men? Why do only women shoulder the full burden? Those guys who are all, “Oh, baby, baby, baby” at the heat of passion should have to accept the baby baby baby that results from it. It takes two to make the fetus — it should take two to kill it too.
Pass a law that the fathers must stand beside the doctor with their eyelids pried open “Clockwork Orange” style, and watch as the woman’s cervix is pried open and the fetus is vacuumed out in bloody bits and pieces? It should be mandatory that whatever the women endures, the man must witness. Maybe be required to scoop up all the bloody, gooey sheets and body parts, and walk them to the hazardous waste disposal, vomiting all the way.
So, I bet you’re scratching your head trying to figure out if I’m Pro-Life or Pro-Choice. I’m neither. Or both. I believe unplanned pregnancies are a tragedy, and abortions even more so, and we should be heaving free contraceptives at any and all females in an effort to prevent them. We need contraception we can implant in girls before their periods begin and remove when they’re ready to make a mature decision about having a child.
In a logical world, Pro-Lifers would be funneling money into Planned Parenthood, not plotting to blow clinic up. It’s called PLANNED Parenthood, you dolts, not Abortions-R-Us. If you did the most miniscule amount of research, you’d discover that Planned Parenthood prevents far, far more unwanted pregnancies than it terminates. In real estate, it’s “location, location, location.” To end abortion, it’s “prevention, prevention, prevention.”
Ah, but there’s not really logic in this discussion, because it’s not just pregnancy that the Radical Religious Right is obsessed with. It’s sex itself. Specifically, contraception. There are some in the RRR who don’t believe women should enjoy sex unless it’s a byproduct of getting pregnant. Abolishing abortion and making access to birth control difficult is the first step to gaining control of womens’ bodies. What we have going on now in the U.S. is far beyond Pro-Life. It’s the first salvo in an all-out war on women’s rights.
Ladies! There are people out there, right at this moment, regrouping and working on laws to govern what you can and can’t do with your own uterus and your own vagina! Before it became a television series, Margaret Atwood’s masterpiece novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” was a futuristic dying world, wherein a woman’s role in society is whittled down to becoming nothing more than “a uterus on legs.” I suspect that Atwood intended her novel to be a warning, not a how-to manual.
Oh, yeah. It’s on.
We women are the voting majority in this country and if we don’t wise up and wield that power, we’re going to lose that too, along with everything our mothers and grandmothers fought for. We’re the frog in that pot of water with the heat rising so slowly, we’ll eventually boil to death from our inability to perceive the change in temperature.
And girfriends, it’s getting’ hot in here.